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VIDEOS: Get Up Close & Personal With Penguins In New Nature Series

Penguins: Spy in the Huddle brings a new perspective to life as a penguin, along with never-before-filmed footage of penguin behavior.

Jessica Pineda

It’s hard being a penguin. Just take a moment to imagine life as one of these birds. You live in remote parts of the world (and sometimes it’s really cold). You have to deal with predators. You have to catch fish for a living. You can’t fly. (You can’t fly.) And on top of all that, you gotta’ work hard to find a mate and raise your babies. Phew, I’m just tired imaging it!

Rockhopper penguin
Philip Dalton/©JDP
This rockhopper stands near an eggcam, one of the many animatronic cameras used for filming Penguins: Spy in the Huddle.

This intimate look at the penguin life is the subject of a new 3-part series from Nature called Penguins: Spy in the Huddle. For nearly a year, filmmakers placed 50 animatronic cameras within penguin colonies that passed as realistic penguins, eggs and rocks. They filmed for 1,000 hours, and captured some never-before-filmed footage of the penguin life, like:

  • Female Emperor penguins flipper-fighting over mates.
  • A female Emperor penguin laying an egg.
  • The underwater arrival of rockhopper penguins battling the South Atlantic seas on their way to reach dry land.
  • Humbolts penguins (the only tropical mainland penguins) kicking dirt at the vampire bats trying to feed on them and their chicks.
  • The first aerial shot of a penguin colony by a flying predator bird who mistook the egg-camera for a meal. 
Emperor Penguin chicks
Frederique Olivier/©JDP
Emperor penguin chicks huddle up against the cold temperatures of Antarctica.

All this footage provided new insights into penguin behavior.

David Tennant, famous for his role as the Doctor in the television series Doctor Who, narrates the series. The series premieres on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. Part 2 and 3 premieres October 1 and October 8, 2014. All episodes will be available after broadcast on

See exclusive clips of the show here:

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Posted: September 12, 2014, 4:15 p.m. PDT

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VIDEOS: Get Up Close & Personal With Penguins In New Nature Series

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Reader Comments
the first episode was spectacular! those animatronic cameras are amazine.
Cathy, Baltimore, MD
Posted: 9/25/2014 6:34:37 AM
great story...
Carol, Annapolis, MD
Posted: 9/22/2014 1:32:12 PM
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